September Brings A New Exhibitor to London- Robert Mapplethorpe’s Fashion Show Is Here!
Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs will be presented at Alison Jacques Gallery many of which will actually be making their debut there this autumn.
The photographic collaboration is between Robert Mapplethorpe and David Crolan (Alison Jacques’ long term boyfriend. Crolan, who is also a model and artist, has also been the subject of a number of Mapplethorpe’s pieces as well as being photographed by David Bailey, Duffey and Bill King. Some might say that it was because of Mapplethorpe and Crolan’s relationship that first blossomed in 1970 that Robert got to know and socialise with some of the elite members of the fashion world. These relationships were captured in Polaroid and Silver Gelatin Portraits with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint-Laurent, Ossie Clark, Loulou de la Falaise, Marisa Berenson and Grace Jones and it’s these images that form an important part of the exhibition and offer a unique perspective into key moments in their careers.
A particularly poignant memory of David Crolan’s, “Then there was the jewelry. Robert loved jewelry. Usually the lily needs no gilding. In Robert’s case, more was perfection. Rings, necklaces, bracelets. Skulls, crosses, horseshoes, dice, etc. Robert started making his own jewelry. He wore it and looked exquisite. He gave me unique pieces. Provocative and sentimental. We went out one night and both had on a number of his creations. The fashion gang was intrigued. Loulou and Maxime de la Falaise, Marisa and Berry Berenson, John McKendry and a number of others commissioned their first Mapplethorpe originals.”
This creative side of Mapplethorpe’s which shows his more artistic side as opposed to the photographer he famous for is captured excellently throughout the show, focussing on the wearable sculptures and jewellery he made during the 70’s.
Mapplethorpe endeavors throughout his fashion show to combine strong geometric elements with constructed contexts to create an elegant and yet unusually charged narrative. It’s fair to say that he’ s pushing the boundaries of his usual recognisable mastery of relaying beauty and perfection throughout the show by sharing photographs he shot forpublications such as Italian Vogue, French Vogue and L.A. Style in the mid- to late-1980s, most of which haven’t been exhibited before.
“In the next decade with new cameras, Robert did wonderful portraits of our friend and muse Dovanna. The elegance of mind and body resulted in some of Robert’s best images that turned fashion into art. I believe he was one of the first modern artists to cross the line drawn firmly in that territory.” – David Croland
Robert’s photographs reveal his love of high fashion from many different facets and angles